Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Cost of Raycrap

When JFJ first made the deal to acquire Andrew Raycoft from the Boston Bruins for Tuukka Rask I wasn't even in the country. I was in England, enjoying my tea and crumpets while Big Brother played on the teletube. My friend messaged me to tell me that the deal had just happened. Having watched Rask perform in the World Juniors and never being a fan of Raycroft (in fact I correctly predicted he would choke in the playoffs his Calder year) I was pissed. I wanted to fly back to Toronto and beat JFJ down. If I had known that deal would still be costing us 4 years later I would have. At the time though I thought I would give JFJ the benefit of the doubt. After all if Raycroft returned to his Calder winning form then the Leafs would only be partially ripped off instead of outright robbed. I don't want to call JFJ a fucking moron but to trade the player then considered to be the best goalie outside North America for a player who was a third stringer on a bad Bruins team wasn't exactly a genius GM move. Perhaps though Raycroft could have been good, had he, you know, had any talent.

Alas, it was not to be. His tenure will best be known for his glove hand or lack thereof. Every team in the league had the scouting report on Raycroft. Go glove side and you would beat him. His glove was as easy to score on as a Carlton St. hooker. In his entire tenure in Toronto Raycroft probably made one glove save .

Despite tying the record for wins (if that doesn't prove what a dubious statistic wins are nothing will) Raycroft led the Leafs to just missing the playoffs. In the penultimate game of the season against the Montreal Canadiens Raycroft was pulled in favour of J.S. Aubin. The Leafs staged a miraculous comeback and won despite him. Then to top it all off Raycroft had the nerve to say he was happy with his season. Happy? Any goalie who is happy with his season after missing the playoffs is not competitive enough to be a goalie in house league, let alone the NHL. Happy? A goalie who ranked at or near the bottom of all other statistical categories for starting goalies had no reason to be happy. Happy? His response solidified the country club atmosphere of the Leafs at the time. An atmosphere that had clearly been around for a long time but had intensified with the moron in charge.

It was clear that the Leafs could not endure another season with Raycrap between the pipes and JFJ in his infinite wisdom traded a first, a second, and a fourth to the San Jose Sharks for Vesa Toskala plus the future prison resident, Mark Bell. JFJ probably threw in a resort in El Boca Vista as well. Toskala was the solid, dependable starting goalie the Leafs were missing since the buyout of Belfour. Unfortunately, Raycrap was still there. Lurking in the shadows, under his hat, he came in every so often for a guaranteed loss and the Leafs once again fell just short of the playoffs. Toskala was forced to play in almost every game because there was no faith in Raycroft and even when he did get the start he was often pulled and Toskala had to relieve him on his off-day. The price to acquire Toskala was steep and would not have been required had Raycroft shown even a modicum of skill. At the end of the season new GM Cliff Fletcher was detained and questioned by the FBI because of the security threat Raycroft posed letting illegal immigrants enter the country over his left glove side. Raycroft was bought out and proceeded to conspire with Peter Budaj to help tank the Colorado Avalanche season.

Meanwhile Burke is desperate to restock the goaltending cupboard by attempting to lure Johan Gustavsson from Sweden. He too is considered the best goalie outside North America. Luckily, the Leafs no longer have a moron in charge.

Cost: Tuukka Rask, first round pick, second round pick, fourth round pick, enduring Mark Bell, buying out waiving Mark Bell, buying out Raycroft, national security and my piece of mind.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Divorce. It is the dissolution of a bond between partners. It's often an ugly and messy affair. Sometimes though, when you have gone far enough with someone and it's not working out, you just have to cut your losses. After years of your partner continually disappointing you, at some point enough is enough and you are bound to seek comfort elsewhere. If the partner abuses you, you have to move on. The process can be long lasting but in rare occassions it is quick and sudden. This explains the sad situation in Vancouver. Canucks fans by demonstrating their confidence that they will win the Cup have shown they have divorced reality.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wendel would punch the internet out.

TD is terrified of Wendel. Click on image to magnify. Check out the site address.

Dominic Moore

I have to be honest. The most pleasure I got this season was not from any Leafs victory or loss (during my hope for tanking phase) but from watching Dominic Moore struggle after being traded to Buffalo. Moore and his agent somehow decided that magic fairy dust had made Moore into a decent first or second line player and that he deserved first or second line money. No longer was Moore a third or fourth line grinder. No, he was a player that could help propel a team to the next level. That's why he rejected a contract worth a reported $5 million over 3 years thinking he could get $2.5-3 million on the open market. I guess he didn't take economics classes in Harvard ie. buy low, sell high.

Anytime a player thinks he's worth more than he's getting paid makes me want to take a highstick to their face. Worse still, some GMs are stupid enough to reward these players overinflated contracts such as Glen Sather's contracts to Drury and Gomez in New York and JFJ's contract to McCabe. Luckily for the Leafs, Brian Burke is smarter than other GMs and way, way, way smarter than Harvard Boy Moore. He had a player that was having a career year that he will never likely repeat and was at his highest possible trade value. Shipping him off to the Sabres for a second round pick was daylight robbery.

In Buffalo, Moore had 4 points in 18 games, 1 goal and 3 assists and got his face punched a few times by the Saviour, Luke Schenn. They gave up a second rounder for that? Glen Sather paid the same price to get Antropov to the Rangers and he had 13 points in 18 games. Dominic Moore has done the impossible. He has made Glen Sather look smart.

First Post

This blog is about the Toronto Maple Leafs, though some occasional posts may be about the Blue Jays and if I'm really desperate about the useless Toronto team, the Craptors.

One thing that should come across fairly obviously as I post is that I'm a cynical bastard. I will rip the Leafs to shreds if they deserve it. I will, however, defend them if the attacks come from fans of other lesser teams in the NHL (especially Sens and Habs fans) and if the criticisms are unwarranted (ie. 1967).

Hopefully, I'll still be posting when the Leafs win the Stanley Cup. Haha, who am I kidding, the internet will have ceased to exist by then.